Ball Control

The placement of your shots is a result of 4 factors:


All shots that you hit should have a target area taken into account. These target areas, or places on your opponent’s side of the court, are hit by controlling the Angle, PaceHeightand Spin.

For example, your serve must be hit diagonally or cross court to the correct service box. Hitting the ball higher and harder will certainly get your shot to land deeper in the court, just don’t hit the ball so hard that it hits the back fence on the fly. Try to control the Height and Pace of your serve and return of serve so your shot lands a couple of feet inside your opponent’s baseline. These 2 shots hit deeper are more effective.

Then for the all important Third Shot of the point, your 2 main choices are a Drive or a Drop Shot. The Drive is easier because you have the entire court to hit your shot into. So hit a Drive forcing your opponents into hitting a Volley. I like to hit a drive and stay back to play my opponent’s volley just like I play their serve or return of serve.

Now comes the CHALLENGE for you. Can you hit your Third Shot much softer so it only travels far enough to land in your opponent’s kitchen? Think of a golfer. Does the golfer hit their drive and putt with the same speed? Obviously not. So challenge yourself to hit your Third Shot softer with the intent of getting your shot to land in the kitchen. This forces your opponents to hit up on your shot to clear the net and allows you a much safer shot to get up to your own Non Volley Zone line. Then comes a whole different aspect of the game, the Dinking game. Dink responsibly so you don’t get smashed.

This lifetime sport is a lot of fun no matter how you play it, but the better players are all court players who have developed shots to all areas of the court. This is done by controlling the Height and Pace of each shot.

By Gregg Whitfield